Server Month: A guide to server features and functionality

This server purchasing guide explores various server form factors as well as rackmount versus blade servers. We look under the hood at various form factors and evaluate their standout features.




Welcome to Server Month
As data centers struggle with space constraints, facility power and cooling issues, and virtualization challenges, server hardware purchasing decisions have become ever-more critical. Data centers need hardware that can pack a punch, handle virtualized applications -- all without being space or energy hogs.

So whether you’re conducting a server refresh or building a new facility, this package provides an overview of various form factors and their capabilities. 



In this video series, you'll get an overview of the key features and capabilities of the five different servers featured in our Server Month coverage.


Choosing a server

With the broad range of 1U servers on the market, 
purchasing the right machine can be challenging. The first step is understanding your organization’s needs. Then consider server 
features and capabilities to make the most of your investment.

Inside a Dell server

The Dell PowerEdge R415 is well-suited for basic tasks, such as file
and print, Web applications, email support and some server


Using 2U, 4U servers vs. smaller-form factors

In some cases, companies may outgrow the computing
power available in 1U servers and require other alternatives,
including 2U and 4U servers.


Inside a Fujitsu server

The Fujitsu Primergy RX200 S6 is designed for reliability,
virtualization support and ease of operation, and Fujitsu
also places emphasis on its power and cooling capabilities.


Inside an HP server

The HP ProLiant DL360 G7 is touted for its performance
capacity and flexibility, but it also has one particular feature
that several 1U servers don’t have .


Inside an SGI server

The SGI Rackable C1001-TY2 series is a half-depth form factor
that can double the mounting density compared to other 1U servers.


Inside a Super Micro server

On the surface, SuperMicro 1026T 6RFT has features that are
very similar to those of other 1U servers, but upon closer
inspection, there are some surprising capabilities.


Server Month wrap-up

Our Server Month video series concludes with a discussion
of the key features and capabilties that stood out for the
five 1U servers examined.


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In this series of articles, we outline key features and capabilities of various server form factors, discuss hardware purchasing considerations given server virtualization, and offer guidance on optimizing server performance and extending server refresh cycles.

Server features and functionality: An introduction
This overview of smaller form-factor servers looks under the hood on offerings from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, Super Micro and to evaluate the specs, standout features and capabilities.

Turning to 2U, 4U servers in virtualized data centers
If you're considering moving to a larger form factor, what are the implications for your workloads? Does moving to a larger form factor satisfy your needs feature- and budget-wise? 

Blade servers: An introduction and overview
Blade servers can improve performance for workloads and virtual data centers, but they can also contribute to excessive power consumption and management complexity.

Spotting undervalued server features
Some lesser-known features can boost server performance. But beware configuration challenges that cause server overheating or, worse, a performance tailspin.

Tactics for extending server life
Exploiting certain technologies and a bit of planning can help you get more value from server investments.

The best server benchmarking tools for your needs
Most server benchmarking tools will address your basic needs. So choosing the “best” benchmarking tool is really a matter of finding software that suits your technology and business needs.

Inside Intel and AMD processor technologies for Unix systems
AMD and Intel are still developing new processors at a remarkable pace for Unix systems.

Must-read server content:
Server refresh guide
From selecting the right hardware to capacity planning advice, this guide offers IT pros much-needed advice on hardware refresh cycles.

FAQ: Devising a server consolidation plan
Developing a server consolidation plan is one of the most difficult tasks when implementing virtualization technologies. Taking stock of resource requirements, performance needs and host capacities can help make the virtualization process an easier one.

Server virtualization software, refresh cycles go hand-in-hand
Companies hoping to extend the working life of existing computing platforms are engaging in longer server refresh cycles and fewer new technology deployments.

Top 10 data center trends for 2011
Read predictions for the top 10 data center trends in servers, storage, operating systems and data center facilities.

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